It has been good to have a free week, and some breathing space, for the first time this season.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the hustle and bustle of playing Saturday-Tuesday, but it does lead to some very tired players.

We felt they deserved a little break before we came back in on Tuesday and started preparing for today’s game against Wycombe.

There’s a mental tiredness as well, so I enjoyed a bit of time at home with my family.

A manager never truly switches off, though, and I spent a long time looking at last Saturday’s match at Wimbledon.

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When I first started, I travelled all around the country watching games.

I was a regular at the Kassam Stadium, up in the press room where the scouts and managers go.

These days we have so many resources and can watch games at all levels without leaving our home.

I don’t think I’ll ever stop going to matches, there’s nothing like seeing players for yourself, but ‘a couple of days off’ doesn’t happen – there’s always something to learn from.

That’s a key phrase too after the game at Wimbledon: learning lessons.

I thought we were comfortable in open play and looked very good on the ball.

We created chances but lost concentration at two set pieces, which we’d warned about in advance.

That’s so frustrating and I felt for the fans who packed the away end.

But the good thing is the players held their hands up and knew where the errors had occurred.

That makes it easier to get back on the training ground and sort out ahead of today’s match.

It’s not a derby – I’m reminded every day of who the rivals are, even if we don’t play them this season.

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But there’s a healthy respect between the two clubs and in the dugouts and I’m sure there will be an extra intensity around today’s match.

We’ve done well at the Kassam Stadium so far, winning all three games, where our home support has been a massive help.

If you’re coming along today then get behind us and get the noise levels as high as you can.

And if you read this and think ‘oh, sounds like a good game’ then why not come along and join us?

We’d love to see you and hopefully we can leave everyone smiling by 5pm this afternoon.

There were a couple of loan deals this week which I wanted to mention.

Both involved our Under 21 players, with Tyler Goodrham joining Hayes and Yeading and Michael Elechi going to Chippenham Town for a month.

How we use loans is interesting, as I think some people are fearful of what it means for the players’ future.

But you actually need to look at recent examples, such as Shandon Baptiste and Sam Long both being at Hampton and Richmond at the same time.

Both of them seized their chance and came back better players after getting regular competitive football in senior leagues.

Tyler and Michael now have the same opportunity.

They’ll still train with us through the week, and it’s a chance for them to continue their football education.

They have so much talent, so go out there and show everyone what you can do.